Dembele pops up in last minute to fire Spurs through
Lyon 1 Tottenham 1 (Tottenham win 3-2 on aggregate):Tottenham’s difficult week in Lyon ended on a dramatic high after Mousa Dembele fired his team in to the last 16 of the Europa League with a stunning last-minute strike.
Maxime Gonalons, the Lyon captain, looked to have fired Lyon to the 1-0 win they required to advance with his first-half goal.
However, Dembele popped up in the 90th minute, hammering a blistering 25-yard strike past Remy Vercoutre to set up a mouth-watering third-round tie against Inter Milan.
Much of the pre-match focus had been on the nasty attack by a group of 50 locals which hospitalised three Spurs fans on Tuesday night.
Villas-Boas’ team looked like failing to give their vocal supporters a pick-me-up after a dire first half.
Dembele was one of the worst offenders. The Belgian’s passing, and that of Scott Parker, was very sloppy and Kyle Walker was given the runaround by Lisandro Lopez.
Gareth Bale inspired Spurs to a first leg win with two stunning free-kicks, but he missed a golden chance to give Spurs a crucial goal in the second half, sidefooting wide while unmarked.
That looked like being it for the Londoners, but Dembele provided the magic they required with just 30 seconds remaining.
Bale, so devastating in the first leg, was anonymous for the first 15 minutes. The first time the Welshman had a say in the course of the game was when his shoddy marking allowed Lyon to break the deadlock after 16 minutes.
Walker fouled Lisandro and when Grenier clipped the free-kick to the near post, Bale turned away from Gonalons – who beat a rooted Friedel from eight yards.
Vercoutre had a nightmare trying to handle the Welshman’s swirling shots last week and he looked uncomfortable punching away two similar efforts in quick succession.
And when Adebayor hooked the ball on to the top of the Lyon bar and Aaron Lennon had a penalty appeal turned down soon after it wasn’t looking good. Then Clint Dempsey went close twice soon after his introduction, and it seemed Spurs were destined to fail.
Dembele had other ideas, however, dropping his shoulder to beat Grenier before hitting a powerful long-range shot beyond Vercoutre.